The residential quarter for Korranberg's permanent, non-student residents takes half an hour to reach; already, the light from the bound-elemental lanterns is obvious due to the sky being so dim. At Egmon's direction, the group approaches a small but well-maintained house with an iron fence encircling it.

Egmon: ...I should wait out here.
Edgeworth stops his approach. "Then I'll need Illyvalen to remain with you."
Edgeworth looks to the linguist.
Illyvalen: Um, okay...
Edgeworth frowns disapprovingly, crossing his arms. "Is something the matter?"
Illyvalen: N-no...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. One doesn't need any unusual assistance to see through such a tone as that.
Edgeworth's glower deepens.
Illyvalen cowers slightly.
Edgeworth: If you have a worthwhile concern, it ought to be shared.
Egmon: Aren't you being too hard on her? She's trying to help you with this headlong charge of yours.
Illyvalen: Uh, um, uh, well... I mean... uh, what exactly should I do if he... or if someone... uh... I mean... if something happens, or...?
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "If nothing else, you have a well-exercised set of vocal chords, do you not?"
Illyvalen: Uh, yeah...
Edgeworth: Then if nothing else, you can call for my attention if something occurs that you cannot handle.
Illyvalen: R-right.
Edgeworth turns to face the house, but glances back over his shoulder. "Beyond that, I merely expect you to retain a hold on the rope."
Illyvalen nods.
Edgeworth nods in gratitude, then passes through the open gate and approaches the front door.

Edgeworth knocks at the door; after nearly a minute, a muscular, cagey-looking gnomish woman with shoulder-length, unevenly-braided rust hair and gold eyes... looks straight out the door, at Edgeworth's legs.

Chidellof: Sorry, but Talbo's not home yet.
Edgeworth: ...
Edgeworth: First of all, I don't speak Gnomish. Second, I come bearing bad news concerning him. Lastly, I'm up here.
Chidellof glowers upward, though doesn't seem to be looking directly at any particular feature. "Well, gimme a break, it's a bad day for me, all right?!"
Edgeworth: Strange; I didn't expect her to be blind after what Egmon said.
Edgeworth: May we speak inside? By my understanding, this information is rightfully yours to hear first.
Chidellof: All right, just don't break anythin', whoever you are.
Edgeworth bows while the gnomish woman turns and carefully makes her way down the narrow hall, her arms lazily outstretched to prevent herself from striking obstacles. "Thank you."

Gradually, Chidellof leads Edgeworth to a living room, though unfortunately the furniture is all scaled for gnomes.

Edgeworth seats himself on the rug. "...Unfortunately, Talbo won't be returning. The circumstances are such that I wish to ask you a few questions about him — particularly what might anger him."
Chidellof swings a surprisingly forceful-looking backhand an inch away from Edgeworth's head, prompting him to leap to his feet half a second after it would have been too late.
Edgeworth: Wh-what was that for?!
Chidellof: You're not accusin' Talbo of cheatin' on me!
Edgeworth takes a step backward. "Indeed, I'm not accusing him of anything of the sort!"
Chidellof: Then why else wouldn't he be comin' back?!
Chidellof: And why else would you be askin' about him gettin' angry at me?!
Edgeworth glares at Chidellof. "That isn't what I said! Calm down at once and listen!"
Edgeworth: Your fiancé's body was discovered less than an hour ago at a park.
Chidellof's aggressive stance relaxes momentarily as her eyes widen. "Body?!"
Edgeworth sighs in relief. "...Yes. I'm sorry for your loss, but —"
Chidellof cracks her knuckles. "OK, if the Trust's not removin' whoever did it, I'm gonna and I don't care what they do to me for it!"
Edgeworth: Thus does it grow clear why Mr. Niralamba wished to be nowhere near her...
Edgeworth: It appears to have been self-defense. Therein lies a multitude of questions, particularly given this country's approach to maintaining order.
Chidellof: What, you accusin' him of attackin' someone? That's stupid! Even if the Trust didn't warn him off, Talbo wouldn't know where to begin hurtin' a quasit!
Edgeworth: OBJECTION! If that were the case, then I fail to see why this would be hidden within the coat on his freshly dead body!
Edgeworth kneels down and holds out the knife sheath to Chidellof. "It's roughly a foot in front of you."
Chidellof feels around a bit before laying her hand on the sheath and looking surprised.
Chidellof: Now why in Khyber would he bring that with him? I thought I'd just misplaced that...
Chidellof feels a bit further up the sheath... "Hey, what're you tryin' to pull?! It's empty!"
Edgeworth: Implying that the missing knife is normally kept sheathed in this.
Edgeworth: Indeed — and the reason for that is one question I hope to answer. Am I to understand, then, that this is yours and that you would not normally expect Talbo to carry it?
Chidellof: Well, yeah. Mostly I use it as a normal knife, but I know a bit about how to use it as a weapon. Not that it means much, 'cause I'm armed better than that just by existin'.
Edgeworth: Given the apparent force behind the blow she attempted to aim at me, I believe it.
Edgeworth looks at the gnome uneasily.
Chidellof: But the Trust would think the same as you if they found him carryin' that around! And chances're that if they knew he had a knife, they'd figure out why real quick too. If he wanted to try 'n hurt someone, he wouldn't've gotten that far!
Edgeworth smirks. "Is that so? I've heard allegations that you got further than he did once."
Chidellof's face scrunches up. "Yeah, well, that's different! First off, it was just a punch, and second, it's not like I planned it or anythin'!"
Edgeworth frowns dourly. I doubt there's really such a thing as 'just' a punch from this woman, but otherwise that's all too plausible. I suppose even with eyes in all places, there's little the Trust can do against acts that occur at the spur of the moment.
Edgeworth lifts his finger to his temple for a moment, then smirks. "And the victim in that case was one Lalitamah Niralamba Santiar?"
Chidellof recoils. "H-h-h-how'd you know that?!"
Edgeworth stands and puts the sheath away, then shrugs and shakes his head. "I've met her husband in the course of my investigation — a man who clearly bears no love for you and was, in fact, the one who claimed that you've gotten away with assault in the past. Furthermore, something rather traumatic involving her apparently moved him to lose faith in the Trust and start carrying a sword at all times."
Edgeworth: By your own admission, it's true that you've assaulted someone in the heat of the moment, yet you seem not to fear the consequences of doing so again. Ergo, I propose that you weren't even told to watch yourself — the Trust regarded Mrs. Niralamba as bearing responsibiity for how the incident played out, something her husband regarded as unjust.
Chidellof's jaw drops.
Chidellof: Damn the Six, you're good.
Chidellof: It must've taken a miracle to get Egmon talkin' about what happened to Lalitamah, though.
Edgeworth shifts awkwardly. "Or rather, an act easily mistaken for one."
Chidellof looks thoughtful, then grins. "My turn — you're that 'atheist cleric' from the rumors, right?"
Edgeworth: Indeed. My apologies for not introducing myself thus far. My name is Miles Edgeworth.
Chidellof: And you've gotta know mine already, Mr. Smarty-Pants.
Edgeworth's eyebrow tics in annoyance. "Edgeworth, please."
Chidellof: Hunh, whatever.
Chidellof: So if you're so smart, why don't you do me a favor and tell me why Talbo would feel that way too?
Edgeworth frowns. "That is some of what I hoped to learn by speaking with you."
Edgeworth: I lack leads concerning any motive he might have had for assault.
Chidellof narrows an eye skeptically. "And you're sure some enchanter didn't get to him? The best ones can turn you into a puppet."
Edgeworth: That's a disturbing notion on several levels. However...
Edgeworth: I would imagine that the remnants of an aura that powerful would be readily detectable for some time.
Chidellof: You found him soon enough to be sure of that, huh...
Edgeworth: That I did.
Chidellof: I guess it makes sense. If he'd been there too long, the Trust would've covered it up already — it's embarrassin' 'n all.
Chidellof frowns...
Edgeworth: It seems that the enormity of the news is beginning to sink in...
Edgeworth: ...Er, would you prefer some time alone?
Chidellof: I don't wanna be alone, I wanna be in a room with whoever I gotta clock for doin' this to Talbo!
Edgeworth glares. "As I already stated, it appears to have been self-defe—"
Chidellof: Why're you still sayin' that?! Go on, get outta here or I'll show ya how someone small hurts someone big!
Edgeworth recoils, then quickly retreats for the door out.

As Edgeworth makes a hasty retreat from Chidellof's residence, Althea finally rounds a nearby corner and hurries toward the group, Tikra following almost immediately behind and Nathaniel not that long after.

Edgeworth catches his breath.
Egmon shakes his head.
Illyvalen: A-are you okay...?
Edgeworth: Yes, though perhaps only because our witness isn't in ideal shape at the moment.
Egmon blinks. "She isn't?..."
Edgeworth looks to Egmon. "Contrary to what you've previously implied, Chidellof is blind. Furthermore, between that implication and how unused to the condition she appeared to be, I would go so far as to conclude that this is a recent development."
Egmon: Sheesh. Even after what she's done, I wouldn't wish that on her.
Edgeworth: Her eyes, at least, appear outwardly undamaged.
Illyvalen: D-does she need help? I... maybe I should...
Althea: We should probably assess damage done before anything else at this point...
Edgeworth looks over. "Ah, you've finished."
Edgeworth frowns and crosses his arms. "Though I cannot say that I appreciate the vote of no confidence."
Althea: I have confidence in your ability to handle many things. Consoling someone grieving the loss of a loved one is not among them.
Edgeworth grits his teeth, but doesn't argue the point.
Edgeworth: In any case, I learned something of our captive's past, but have yet to learn much about the victim aside from the facts that he lived here as well, Ms. Vadin is highly protective of him, and she finds it inconceivable that he'd draw her knife against another.
Althea nods. "For my part, I witnessed an attacker with a knife charging another person with a sword, missing, and falling to a panicked counterattack from the sword-wielder, dropping the knife... That would seem to corroborate Mr. Niralamba's account and conflict with Ms. Vadin's..."
Egmon sighs in relief.
Edgeworth: Am I to conclude, then, that she cannot discern the identities of those in these intentionally-induced visions of the past?...
Edgeworth: Given the evidence we already have that the people in question were in fact our victim and our captive, it seems that there's little room for doubt concerning the nature of the incident itself. How and why it came to occur in the first place are the open questions.
Edgeworth glances sideways and downward to Egmon. "It should be noted, however, that our captive does have good reason to bear a grudge against Ms. Vadin."
Egmon tenses up again, glaring defiantly at Edgeworth.
Nathaniel: That still leaves unaddressed whether there is any sane reason for us to be involved in all this.
Edgeworth glares at Nathaniel. "From my own perspective, bringing the truth's power to bear on the situation is reason enough."
Tikra looks toward Althea. "...It is difficult to know the nature of the path we walk. I would hear your guidance, should you be ready to offer it."
Althea sighs. "Keep in mind firstly that I speak as a foreigner, with foreign sensibilities. I can't necessarily reconcile the situation with your own social needs or sensibilities..."
Althea: For my own part, I can't turn my back on an injustice either. I don't know that I will agree with Edgeworth on what the outcome should be, nor whether what either of us believe will ultimately affect what actually occurs... but I definitely agree that knowing the truth of the matter is critical to being able to judge and resolve the situation...
Althea: Moreover... as you pointed out, Edgeworth has the Trust's tacit approval. We may not know precisely why, but I think I can venture a guess...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Do tell."
Althea: You're the great enigma, wandering in the land of gnomes. The Trust has its agenda, but it's a broad organization tapping many diverse perspectives and thriving on intelligence gleaned. I suspect their motive in this is no different than that of most of those who have turned their attention upon you: curiosity.
Nathaniel: You can't be serious...
Egmon: What they don't understand, they can't contain.
Althea: And not only is it not clear yet just what Edgeworth represents, but the opportunity to find that out is potentially fleeting. If they deem him a threat, they'd act, but if they're uncertain... the cost of acting hastily could be impossible to measure.
Edgeworth does his best to mask his unease under a glare.
Edgeworth: If they were to conclude that I represented a threat, what would be the likely result?
Edgeworth: I'd rather not imagine that they'd assassinate me for the crime of merely existing.
Althea: ...again, I speak as a foreigner, however knowledgeable... My impression, however, is that unless they felt the threat you represented was immediate and dire... they would probably inform you that your welcome here has expired, and ensure that your departure from the country was uneventful...
Edgeworth feels a portion of the weight upon him lift. "I see..."
Althea: Zilargo puts great stock in safety, but also in being a welcoming environment. "Play by the rules and everything will be fine" is generally a pretty big part of that.
Tikra: And if they wish to see him at work, what of us?
Althea: ...that is somewhat more difficult to say. For what it's worth, given the circumstance, I don't think any of our actions yet have crossed any obvious lines, but it's not my own judgment at issue.
Althea looks to Edgeworth. "Do you generally receive assistance and support when you investigate crimes?"
Edgeworth frowns. "Er, that may depend on your definition..."
Edgeworth: After all, those employed for that purpose all too often fail to meet adequate standards.
Althea frowns momentarily as well. "Would having people to witness and assist be burdensome or interfere with your usual efforts?"
Edgeworth shakes his head. "Aid can be of use. I'm simply not accustomed to reliability in those who do so."
Althea looks to Tikra and Nathaniel. "I suspect that if you act within such a role, you shouldn't be venturing too far outside this tacit allowance. Nonetheless, I cannot advise you with certainty; you must decide how you feel about the risk..."
Illyvalen: I want to help if I can...
Tikra: There is no certainty I could ask or expect from you. I thank you for your insight. If you and Illyvalen have chosen this burden, I will share it with you.
Nathaniel: ...
Nathaniel sighs and shakes his head. "I suppose you're right. Besides, this is probably a story whose ending is worth seeing..."
Edgeworth smirks. "Then I hope that you shall all retain the level of usefulness you've demonstrated so far."
Althea: Under the circumstances, this is your investigation, and your call as to what comes next. Do you think it might be helpful for me to talk to Ms. Vadin, though?
Edgeworth: Perhaps tomorrow. At the moment, she almost certainly needs additional time to vent her frustration.
Althea nods.
Edgeworth: At the very least, however, we now know of a reason why our captive would wish harm on Ms. Vadin, whether he took any such action or not: she apparently assaulted his wife in the heat of the moment once, only to walk away scot-free while the Trust accused Mrs. Niralamba of provocation of such an attack.
Egmon grits his teeth, fuming.
Althea: Hmmm...
Althea: Are you proposing the victim's attack may have been retalitory in nature?
Edgeworth taps his temple and grins. "It's certainly a possibility — particularly given that Ms. Vadin appears to have been recently blinded."
Egmon: Hey, w-wait a minute, I didn't...!
Edgeworth glares at Egmon. "Given that possibility and the lack of any hard evidence to the contrary at the moment, we ought to see to finding some form of secure accomodations for our suspect until we know the truth."
Althea: Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options here...
Edgeworth nods... "As we've already established. It may take us some time to figure out a means of meeting that need."
Illyvalen: Can't we just keep an eye on him or something?
Edgeworth side-eyes Illyvalen. "For the entire night?"
Egmon simply fumes in resentment.
Tikra: Should we take turns keeping watch, such an approach might be feasible, but it is not clear how well-equipped we are to respond to threats either from or against him...
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "It is the police who are trained to handle physical matters in my world, not prosecutors."
Althea: I can handle myself in such a situation, but I might be the only of us who can do very much... It's probably best to try to figure something out...
Althea: One option that comes to mind is simply hiring some muscle, perhaps from House Deneith or House Tharashk. Tharashk in particular might well have people experienced in minding possibly-dangerous captives while defending them at the same time...
Nathaniel: Assistance like that doesn't exactly come cheap...
Edgeworth's brow furrows in irritation. It's rather frustrating not to be able to pay for even basic things, let alone emergency matters such as this.
Edgeworth: To say nothing of disorienting.
Althea: No, but I'm not without means, so long as such a commitment is not too open-ended. I should not want to retain such help for more than a few days at most...
Edgeworth smirks. "Fortunately, I'm accustomed to resolving situations such as these in half a week or less."
Egmon eyes Edgeworth.
Illyvalen: I guess if you think it's necessary, maybe we'd better...
Edgeworth: It would certainly simplify matters a great deal.
Edgeworth: You yourself wondered what you would do if things went wrong, did you not?
Illyvalen: Y-Yeah...
Nathaniel: If you're certain you want to go that far...
Althea: It's... probably the best option under the circumstances. ...I just might have to be creative about how I find textbooks the next couple of semesters...
Edgeworth gives Althea a flat look. "So long as your 'creativity' doesn't reach excess."
Althea: While I am serious about not trying to put you in my debt generally, in the case of something like this... well, I would appreciate it if, once your own situation is quite stable, you could share some of the burden of this endeavor... consider it an investment in reducing my need for 'creativity' if you'd like.
Edgeworth nods slowly... "Understood. It should come as no surprise that I'm increasingly frustrated over my inability to pay for such things myself in the first place; deferred payment is therefore acceptable."
Edgeworth glances aside. "I only hope that I won't leave you waiting for very long."
Althea nods. "Don't sweat it too much. This isn't a crippling expense, just a significant one."
Althea: I have my own reasons for being involved, so don't consider yourself on the hook for more than half as it is.
Edgeworth: Very well.
Nathaniel: There's also the question of where exactly we go about watching him all night...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Indeed, a guard addresses only half the problem."
Althea: I suppose trying to use your inn room for the purpose does seem a bit problematic. I suppose I could rent another one, and really only myself and the hired guard would need to be keeping an eye on him...
Althea: It's also conceivable that House Tharashk might have some pertinent resources available beyond mercenaries...
Edgeworth raises an eyebrow.
Althea: Given we're in Korranberg I don't know how much we could expect, but they may have some arrangements for detaining those they've captured.
Edgeworth looks to Egmon coolly. "Additionally, it isn't unheard of in my own world for a suspect to simply be watched within their own home in some cases, though it entails some risk."
Egmon hmphs.
Althea: Though that raises the question of whether this is the best time and circumstance to bring his wife into all this, as I presume she would be there as well...
Egmon: ...Yeah, she would be.
Althea: She'll have to find out the situation eventually, but I can understand not wanting it to be in quite this way...
Edgeworth nods slowly. "I must agree, though I certainly anticipate the need to speak with her in time."
Althea looks to Egmon. "Ultimately, you'd know best whether to do that now or later..."
Egmon shifts uncomfortably in his bonds. "She'll be worried about me..."
Edgeworth: I suppose, in such a place as this, anyone in such a position would worry...
Illyvalen: Maybe we'd better go talk to her first then...
Edgeworth: Alternately, we could inform her of the situation after seeing to his accomodations.
Althea addresses Egmon again. "I'm willing to leave that to your discretion."
Edgeworth peers at Althea. "I question the wisdom of allowing a suspect too much discretion."
Egmon glares at Edgeworth.
Illyvalen: But... uh, well... I mean, it is his house and his family...
Nathaniel: There's not much point in dragging him home if he doesn't want to go, if we're going to consider it at all...
Althea: I'm reasonably confident with a competent hire we can keep tabs on him, and I don't see much point in being discourteous when choosing between options that are each viable.
Edgeworth glowers. "Where you see 'courtesy', I see a precarious and premature loosening of bonds on a potentially dangerous man. I insist that we leave him out of any decisions concerning how and where he is to be watched lest we discover that he's planning an escape."
Althea frowns. "I think you're going a bit far, but this is your case... Given that, though, I'd lean against taking him home, though we probably should send someone to notify his wife of the situation..."
Edgeworth nods. "Agreed; she ought to be made aware before we sleep, at the very least."
Egmon sighs.
Althea: At any rate, we may as well find out what our options are at the Tharask enclave.
Edgeworth: Indeed.

As the sky comes to be lit only by the currently-visible moons, the stars, and the sparkling yellowish Ring of Siberys, the group arrives at Korranberg's House Tharashk enclave. It isn't one of the city's larger or more impressive buildings, but is stocky, square, and solidly built of grey stone.

Past the manticore-crested front door, there's a small lobby featuring a built-in desk with an orc behind it and some unadorned wooden benches. Various wanted posters adorn the walls along with a corkboard with various notices pinned to it through the use of thin, broad-headed nails.

Edgeworth puts his finger to his temple as he takes note of the means of pinning notices to the bulletin board. "Huh." I suppose thumb tacks must either be too impractical to make with this world's current means or too specialized to be cheaply available here, if indeed they've been invented at all.
Althea looks to Edgeworth. "I'm going to find out what our options are. It's probably best if I do most of the talking, as well."
Edgeworth turns to Althea and half-frowns. "Given your superior cultural understanding in this situation, I suppose I must concede the point."

The orc behind the counter raises an eyebrow at that.

Althea nods and heads to the counter.
Orc nods curtly as the halfling steps onto the tiny raised area before the desk. "Who or what can we find for you?"
Althea: Our situation is a little bit unusual, especially given the locale, but our needs are not likely too far outside the kinds of services you provide. We have a potentially dangerous man in our custody; the full circumstances of his situation are still being investigated. We are, however, somewhat under-equipped to keep full tabs on him while that investigation proceeds...
Orc tilts his head slightly. "And he can't just be left to the Trust?"
Althea: There are... extenuating circumstances that would be difficult to explain fully. Suffice it to say, for the moment at least, responsibility has been left to us...
Orc frowns slightly. "Hrm, if you say so... Is he anyone we're searching for?"
Althea: Doubtful; to our knowledge the only crime for which he stands accused is mere hours old.
Orc: A crime? Here? That's more than a little unusual, miss, but I can see why you'd want us over Deneith.
Orc heads over to a filing cabinet and begins to dig through folders...
Orc: We have lots of good folk available depending on how dangerous we're talking.
Orc: Even a couple of minotaur warriors, and even a gargoyle if flying's a problem.
Althea nods. "He's a gnomish blacksmith and is capable of wielding a sword, but our best information indicates he doesn't have magic at his disposal. I wouldn't peg him as an extreme threat, but he definitely bears watching by a competent combatant, of which we have only one at the moment."
Althea: Aside from the matter of manpower, there's also the question of where best to maintain watch over him in the short term. Ultimately, it might be useful if we could detain him somewhere secure for a few days.
Orc scratches his chin. "We do have a couple of holding cells here in case some fugitive's dumb enough to try fleeing here. Both of them are empty right now, but I'm not about to let you just use our resources for free, either."
Althea: I'm certain we can compensate you fairly for your trouble.
Orc: Thirty galifars a day should cover our trouble and some trainees keeping watch over the cell.
Althea considers this thoughtfully. "That may well address our needs..."
Edgeworth frowns. "Would trainees be sufficient in the worst case scenario?"
Orc looks over at Edgeworth. "There'd be two of them on the job at a time, mister. I don't know if it's the same up in the towers somehow or not, but out in the field, we know how important it is to watch each other's backs."
Althea glances at Edgeworth with a hint of annoyance. "I realize you may be accustomed to working with people of dubious competence, but we're talking about House members here."
Orc's eyes show a glint of pride at that.
Althea: Moreover, there's a limit to how dangerous we can presume him to be; our resources are limited, and the available evidence suggests he's not someone of extraordinary capabilities. Even if he does have the skill to attempt an escape from a cell, we haven't seen anything to suggest he would be a threat to armed guards, particularly without his weapon.
Edgeworth glances aside. "Point taken. Moreover, this would certainly be a far more controlled situation than someone merely accompanying him would be facing."
Orc: Mrm. I'd think someone who could deal with that would run you at least fifty a day.
Althea: I would think. And we'd still need to deal with the lodging situation on top of that.
Orc: If you're that worried, though, fifty a day would also get you one of our cells with some slightly better guards, skilled but inexperienced. We can't really afford to have anyone better than that guard someone like this guy sounds.
Edgeworth smirks. "I have little doubt that such an arrangement would suffice."
Althea frowns at Edgeworth, but nods slowly.
Althea looks back to the orc at the counter. "Assuming there's no issue with our speaking with him occasionally while he's detained here, should further questioning prove necessary, I think that arrangement would accommodate our needs."
Orc grins and picks up a pen. "Then let's finalize things and you can bring him in."
Edgeworth bows.
Althea nods.